HC: What are your hotel turn offs?
AS: I hate a small room. You don't want to feel claustrophobic or—if you're a man—feel like you could pee from your bed. And the room must be clean. If you're sleeping in socks and a shower cap, that's no good.
HC: Why did you choose the Four Seasons as the setting for your book?
AS: The first time I went into the hotel I just fell in love with it. It's so luxurious, and there's a great name recognition from the staff. But it's a large hotel so there is also the chance for anonymity. You can be anyone from anywhere. I loved idea of seeing each of my characters behind closed doors.
HC: Any other favorite hotels?
AS: I recently stayed at the Flemings Hotel in London, and it was so British and so civilized. In New York, I love The Surrey, which has that old Upper East Side feel but with a Chanel-esque modern edge. And in New Orleans, I stayed at the W New Orleans French Quarter. It was very much a W but with a New Orleans flair.
HC: What is it about hotels that makes them so special?
AS: It's an escape. You get to feel high end and pretty. Like at the Four Seasons, where the tub fills in 60 seconds. I don't have that at home. I like what George Bernard Shaw said about hotels: "The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life."